Characters: Rico, Kayana, Larry, Dave and Amber
NPC: John, Cynthia, Olga, Andric, Grigori, Dimitri, Oksana
The Mission: Proxy John Terrak, in his private floor penthouse at Trump Tower in Chicago, sends the party on the following mission:
Characters are sent to a small town in Siberia, Russia called Chersky to investigate the kidnapping of a couple (Dr. Dimitri Vasiliev and his wife Dr. Oksana Vasilieva). The two Russian scientists were reported close to finding a cure for the Ebola virus (a virus that is responsible for a severe and viral hemorrhagic fever with fatality rates ranging from 50 to 90 percent) when all communication stopped.
Chersky is located in the northeastern area of Siberia, where winter temperatures are around -60F. Chersky was part of the Gulag, the network of prisons for the Kremlin’s enemies. The main prison is in the center of town with buildings surrounding it. The town is in a valley surrounded by mountains and dark forest. The population of the town is currently around 2500 people.
Traveling to Chersky: Chersky is 6,600 kilometers (4,000 miles) and eight time zones away from Moscow, and a 4½-hour flight from the closest city, Yakutsk. To the north is the East Siberian Sea, and all around is frozen tundra, bare mountains, lakes, scrubland and larch forests. Flight itinerary goes from New York to Moscow, Russia (where they pick up faction member Olga to serve as interpreter)…. then from Moscow to Yakutsk… from Yakutsk to Chersky.
Party discusses whether to travel from Yakutsk to Chersky by snowcat (enclosed cab, truck-sized, fully tracked vehicle designed to move on snow) for a 3 day trip or ride in a prop plane for a 4½ hour flight. If they choose to fly, they will land at Chersky airport and then drive 45 minutes to reach Chersky. Ultimately, the party decides on two snowcats instead of flying because of the frequent severe snowstorms in the area. Unfortunately, the party drives into several of these snowstorms making the trip 5 days instead of 3.
Chersky: Having arrived and stopping a hundred yards outside of the town near midnight, the party notices that there are no lights on anywhere in town and that the town roads are covered in two feet of snow.
Three party members, Amber, Kayana and Olga (interpreter) decide to investigate as they leave the two snowcats behind and walk the hundred yards to town. Seeing no one in the first home, they proceed to the second. Seeing the door half open, Olga climbs the four steps to reach the door and goes in with her flashlight turned on. A moment later, Olga stumbles out and down the steps terrified as she begins moving toward the snowcats and tells the party there are dead bodies and something moving inside the house. One of the party members, Amber, fires a warning shot into the open door.
The shots awaken the town of rapture demons (humans turned into demons) and the demons begin to come out of the buildings and move toward the location of the gun shot. Amber, Kayana, and Olga make their way toward the snowcats with a dozen rapture demons in pursuit. Seeing the event unfolding, Larry takes one of the snowcats and drives it toward the town to meet Amber, Kayana, and Olga half way. Rico picks off two of the pursuing rapture demons with his high powered rifle with infrared scope. Dave disembarks from the snowcat and decides to circumvent the town by foot. At this point with Rico’s gunfire, twenty-three more rapture demons emerge from town and begin moving toward the snowcats. Dave, realizing the numbers of rapture demons are too great, goes back to the snowcat. Rico prepares to fire again as Larry’s snowcat has picked up the three party members and are heading back.
As more rapture demons emerge from town, several flares and gunshots at the other end of town lights up the night sky bringing the attention of the town and the rapture demons in pursuit of the snowcats to a halt as they turn their backs to the snowcats and move towards the flare.
Seizing this opportunity to escape, the party retreats falling back behind a large ridge and out of sight of the town. They contact headquarters with their satellite phones and speak with Cynthia updating her on what happened. They also speak with Karl, a creature lore specialist, who tells them that more than one rapture demons is rare and that a town full of rapture demons is impossible unless there is powerful magic at work such as a relic.
The Vision: As the group is talking with Cynthia, Amber “Summons Vision”. In the vision Amber sees a massive black wall grow as it moves toward the town completely enveloping the town. In this vision, Amber feels an overwhelming evil presence behind him but as he turns to look the vision fades only to be replaced by another vision of the town with men, women, and children going about their daily activities. In this vision the roads in town are cleared and everything looks normal. This vision fades replaced by a vision of a hallway with an elevator blocked by huge pieces of debris. At the end of the hallway, Amber hears screams and, as she approaches the screams in her vision, she sees the dark hulking figure ripping apart rapture demons, human guards, and scientists in a science lab. The visions then end. After sharing the visions, the party takes watch and gets some sleep.
Refuel: Party realizes that their snowcats will be out of gas soon, so they decide they will drive the snowcats in the morning to the airfield 45 minutes away, instead of going into town, to secure fuel for an eventual escape. Unfortunately, the noise from the snowcat attracts the attention of a group of rapture demons forcing the party to turn the snowcats around and go south in order to escape. After several miles leaving the town and their pursuers behind, the party is safe.
Still needing fuel and realizing the noise from the snowcats will attract too much attention, they decide to go by foot to the airfield and bring fuel back. Circumventing their way around the town they are greeted by a snow storm just as they reach the airfield. Once reaching the airfield, they find an abandoned terminal, air traffic control tower with blood but no bodies, and a pilot locked in the only airplane on the runway. They agree to refuel the airplane for the pilot and tell Olga to escape with the pilot in the plane…which she does.
Party collects fuel and goes back to the snowcats after the seven hour snow storm subsides. Finally reaching the original clearing outside of town, the snowcats are missing and in their place are empty gas cans. The party also sees a half frozen man in the clearing.
Andric Simonavich: His name is Andric, a human who worked at the power plant. Andric and his friends shot the flare to distract the horde of rapture demons. They were going to join the party to escape in the snowcats but the snowcats were abandoned so they gased them up with the fuel they carried and left. Unfortunately, because of the snow storm at the time, Andric got lost and fell unconscious due to exhaustion and onset of hyperthermia… and would have died had the party not found him in time.
Andric tells the party he and his friends went hunting a week ago but when they returned a day later, the town’s people had gone crazy, been infected, began killing and cannibalizing each other. He and his friends escaped and hid in a basement where they have been trapped for the past five days. Andric tells the party that the cannibals are attracted to sound and light but seem to prefer the dark. He also says that, if they are to travel through town, they should first go to the power plant outside of town to get the power turned on. Andric tells the party the location of the power station with the cooling tower nearby. It’s about half a mile from town (out in the open).
When questioned, Andric tells the party about the scientists Dr. Vasiliev and his wife and says he can show them the building where the scientists work (prison in the middle of town). He says there is a team of six scientists led by Dr. Vasiliev worked. After much discussion, the party decides to go to the prison during daylight hours, making sure to stay quiet as to not awaken the sleeping rapture demons hidden within the buildings.
Party makes their way through town eventually reaching the prison where they find the main doors open. With the entire party just outside the open doors, Rico looks through his infrared scope and sees two sleeping rapture demons in the dark lobby of the prison. Amber tosses two glow sticks into the lobby but fortunately doesn’t awaken the rapture demons. Realizing the danger of going into a dark prison potentially filled with rapture demons, the party decides to travel to the power station to turn the town’s power back on. The party follows Andric to the power station outside of town.
Town Power Plant: The fossil-fueled power station uses a steam turbine generator. The steam turbine uses dynamic pressure generated by expanding steam to turn the blades of the turbine. The party goes into the plant and turns on the town’s power without encountering any rapture demons.
When the power is turned on, the party hears shrill cries and screams from awakened rapture demons from town. Larry surmises that the lights in few homes came on surprising and awakening a few rapture demons. After some time passes, these screams die away leaving the town quiet again but with electricity. Party travels back to the prison, but before leaving, Dave casts a suggestion spell on Andric telling him to hide in the original ridge and do nothing until told. Andric falls under the power of the spell and proceeds to travel by foot around the outskirts of town to reach the ridge.
Prison: Upon reaching the prison, the party goes inside. The lights are on; the two rapture demons are gone. After looking around they eventually find a hallway with an elevator and a door leading to stairs at the far end. There are three levels down. The party decides to take the stairs.
The party investigates the first level down and finds a large lobby with four halls containing abandoned prison cells and nothing else. The party takes the stairs and investigates the second level where they find the entire level has been converted into a modern day lab with the prison cells in the four halls converted to patient beds and animal cages for experimenting on animals. Rico hacks the computers and downloads all the data and records kept by the six scientists.
Finding nothing else, the party takes the stairwell down to the third and last level. Upon exiting the stairwell into the hall, they see the elevator has been blocked in by huge debris making it unusable, so the party passes the elevator and goes into to the next room where they face a hallway going right and left. The hallway to the left has flickering light and the hallway to the right leads into complete darkness.
Deciding to use flashlights, the party goes down the right hallway which emerges into a massive lab. In this lab they find a mass of dead, decaying bodies…not eaten like the town people above…but rather ripped apart and mutilated, in addition to large patches of thick dried blood on the floors and walls, severed limbs, and other fragments of body parts on desks and counters.
Following a single wide hallway, 60 ft in length and 10 ft wide, the party faces what looks like a large man made entrance leading to a large stone tunnel. The uneasy silence is barely broken by faint screams in the far distance.
PART ONE ENDS…